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Leaflet on the struggles in France

Leaflet on the struggles in France (distributed in Belgium)

Below we publish the leaflet distributed by comrades of Controversies in Belgium at places and occasions where an echo of the movements in France and their lessons can have a useful impact.

Belgium: Behind the communitarian crisis stands the social crisis


Today for already 146 days the national media din the stories into our ears about politicians who are incapable of forming a government. During all this time, after the elections of June 13th, nothing has really changed: the end of the month is still as difficult to cope with, the unemployment rate continues to rise, the future of the youngsters is ever more uncertain, and work is ever more precarious.

But whereas we believed to have heard say that this is enough, it is nothing compared to the austerity measures that await us. In effect, the bourgeoisie is well determined to make the workers pay for a crisis that they are not responsible for, and find 25 billion Euro in order to fill up the state deficit left by rescuing the banks.

Whereas nobody will ignore that the program of the NVA is that of the Flemish patrons, the Socialist Party (PS) and its president Di Rupo still enjoy a widespread popularity in the south of the country. However, in Greece as well as in Spain it’s the “socialist” governments who have imposed the austerity measures.

Next was France and today it is the United Kingdom. Tomorrow it will be up to the workers in Belgium to confront austerity measures and to engage in struggles. Nothing has already been played out, and everything can still be won, provided that we benefit from the struggles that have been waged for several months in the Republic of Sarkozy.

The social movements in France

After two months of actions the economical defeat related to the measures taken by the government against the pensions becomes more and more evident. The movement remains no less of an example, since we have to go back to 1995 in order to find a mobilization of comparable extent in duration, participation, reflections and initiatives amongst the workers. This social movement constitutes an excellent base for trying to draw lessons about the appropriate way of engaging in the struggles.

To talk about this movement means to speak about the blockage of important sectors of industry, like the oil refineries. In effect, the only way in which the bourgeoisie can be forced to back down is a worker’s offensive that costs her more by the halt of its enterprises. The strength of this offensive is characterized first and for all by the capability of the mobilized sectors to rapidly extend and generalize the strike, by sending massive delegations of workers to all possible sectors in order to make the bourgeoisie give in. Unfortunately this attempt has just been missing from the occupations of the refineries, who remained closed in upon themselves. We can therefore not be satisfied with “having won the battle for ideas” as declared a responsible from the CGT at “Grandpuits” after work has been resumed, for the real solidarity is forged in the extension of class combats, and not in occupations that the unions confine to isolation.

The violent lifting of the blockades of the refineries and the industrial zones by the CRS on orders of the state also poses the question of self-defense and the way in which to face up against a police of Capital that is armed up to the teeth.

To speak of this movement, means talking about the workers who, in many cities of France have decided to go further than simply following the general assembly at their work places, by their active participation in the “inter-professional” General Assemblies, who surpassed the single union framework, by gathering in the same place workers, jobless, students, pensioners, and precarious workers. The attempt to obtain a better coordination between General Assemblies at the national meeting today (November 6th) at Tours has to be saluted. However it still remains necessary that a real massive participation of these General Assemblies is effected, since they should not only represent organized militants, but the whole of the workers who have engaged in struggle.

Also the important mobilization of high school and university students needs to be mentioned. They have not only mobilized themselves as categories, but as integral part of the working class, in solidarity with their elderly and conscious of the fact that, by abolishing jobs, this reform strengthens the unemployment that they are already massively stricken with. Last but not least we draw attention to the manifestations of international solidarity, notably by workers in Belgium, because, whereas the austerity measures are taken in all countries of Europe with intervals of several months, they are characterized everywhere by the same violence.

Extension and self-organization: against the attacks by the exploiters, the workers can only count on themselves!


Controversies – Forum for the Internationalist Communist Left:
November 6th, 2010 – Supplement to Controverses no. 3 (French) – Not to be thrown on the road.